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Things we are thinking about, people we've met
and what’s happening in the Can Can.

  • Stories
  • People
  • Daily Rituals
  • What's On

Beg, borrow and steal

Craig and the natives

Stop talking to me Ken now I have too many things to say about you

I understand sugar like a large field of game without limits

The story of Robyn and the rugs

The ways that people endeavour

Edwin Odermatt

Gerard Havekes

John McPhee

Rob Gordon Australia

Helen and Dennis Smith

Lucy McRae

The daily rituals of others (part two)

The ritual of limbering up

The daily ritual of long walks

Daily Rituals Videos Two

Daily Rituals with Franklin and Bronte

Geraldine Brooks

WHEN Monday 16.11 at 6PM
WHERE National Library of Australia

First Dog

WHEN Thursday 12.11 at 7PM
WHERE National Library of Australia

Dawn Disco

WHEN First Friday of the month
WHERE O’Donnell Youth Centre

Blown Away

WHEN Friday 4.9 at 6.30PM or 8PM
WHERE Ainslie Arts Centre

Korean Film Festival

WHEN Saturday 5.9 to Sunday 6.9
WHERE Palace Cinema

Eat Local Friday Markets

WHEN Every Friday at 2.30PM to 7.30PM
WHERE Botanic Gardens

From thence, the sauce to meat is ceremony ― William Shakespeare


Beetroot old fashioned

Tayla's recipe for her beetroot old fashioned cocktail - beetroot, Angostura 1919 rum and some black pepper bitters.


Meg’s sneaky granny

This makes you a good stash of chamomile and spice syrup to add to your scotch. It's winter... It'll go fast.

The daily rituals of others (part two)

Susan Sontag photographed by Peter Hujar (1975)

Susan Sontag

Starting tomorrow — if not today:
I will get up every morning no later than eight. (Can break this rule once a week.)
I will have lunch only with Roger [Straus]. (Can break this rule once every two weeks.)
I will write in the Notebook every day.
I will tell people not to call in the morning, or not answer the phone.
I will try to confine my reading to the evening. (I read too much — as an escape from writing.)
I will answer letters once a week.

Benjamin Franklin's daily planner

Benjamin Franklin

Morning: The Question. What good shall I do this day.
5 – 7am: Rise, wash. and address Powerful Goodness! Contrive day’s business, and take the resolution of the day; prosecute the present study, and breakfast.
9 – 11am: Work.
12 -1pm: Read or look over my accounts and dine.
2 – 5pm: Work.
6 – 9pm: Put things in their places. Supper. Music or diversion, or conversation. Examination of the day.
10pm – 4am: Sleep.

Gertrude Stein photographed by Horst P. Horst (1946)

Gertrude Stein

Gertrude Stein found inspiration in her car. She would sit in it daily and write poetry on scraps of paper.

Gerhard Richter photographed by Lothar Wolleh (1970)

Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richter has stuck to the same routine for years. He wakes at 6.15am and makes breakfast for his family. He’s in at his studio by 8am. He stays there until the evening (with a short escape for lunch). His days aren’t filled with painting, but planning and procrastination. He doesn’t start painting until he has created a crisis for himself.

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Junk Drawer Number Sixteen

Hello cocky

FILED UNDER Junk Drawer POSTED BY Steph ()

Beg, borrow and steal

The only truly sustainable product is the one that doesn’t exist…That was the starting point to the ethos that has shaped the branding exercise that Round came up with for Hotel Hotel – beg, borrow and steal.

The idea matches our ideal of a more environmentally sustainable way of doing things. Round’s idea was to source (read beg) existing disused or excess hotel materials from hotels around the world. From hotel menus, hotel writing pads, bar coasters, letterheads and envelopes…even going so far as to hijack (read steal) online advertisements and overlaying them with the Hotel Hotel branding. A grand vision of begging, borrowing, and stealing for the sake of reusing materials rather than making new ones.

Beautifully, the idea also mirrors an art series produced by Martin Kippenberger, hard-partying German artist who did a series of drawings in the 80s and 90s on hotel stationery that he and his friends collected during their hotel stays. The work is compiled in an aptly named (and proving that things that have been thought have always been thought before) book called… Hotel Hotel. And a second book called; wait for it… Hotel Hotel Hotel. Hotel Hotel (us) was not named after Hotel Hotel (the book book) but we are loving the synchronicity.

It was a bold, bold idea. And the execution proved difficult.

It was imagined that hotels around the world would give us their old stock and let us stamp it with the Hotel Hotel insignia. The problem is sometimes when you borrow people’s stuff and use it for your own purpose; it won’t come back looking the same as when they gave it to you. And this worries people, understandably. So far, we haven’t found any hotels in Australia that are up for it.

The insignia toolkit is made up of ten stamps, a wax seal, a die cut tool and an embossing tool. These tools let reception and concierge be the ones that execute the branding.

So people ready for action but no paper.

What’s the next best solution? To use out of stock paper from paper suppliers destined for the incinerator. Not just any stock would do however, going back to the initial ideals of environmental sustainability it had to be recycled stock so as not to create a perceived demand for any kind of un-recycled paper stock.

Success. The dead stock has been printed with our artist in residence Lee Grant’s photography, on a risograph printer (wielded by Xavier of Dawn Press), with all of the lovely imperfections that a riso provides.

Aussen Alster Hotel, Martin Kippenberger, 1989

Kastens Hotel Luisenhof, Martin Kippenberger, 1989

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The beginning of genius is being scared shitless.
― Louis-Ferdinand Céline

From Louis-Ferdinand Céline’s ‘The Church – A Comedy in Five Acts’.

Image of Nikos, our CFO, shot by Lee Grant.


#hotelhotel #hotelhotel #hotelhotel #hotelhotel #hotelhotel

The ritual of limbering up

The secret of Mike Whitney’s successful cricketing career is that he can bend from the hips. We learnt this vital sporting fact the day Mike came to stay. He led the ritual of limbering up in the Monster salon. We reached for the ceiling, we strained for our toes, we talked and we twisted. Turns out Mike is a bendy guy – he’s been stretching each day for the past 30 years.

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Edwin Odermatt

Edwin Odermatt re-upholstered lots of our furniture.

From his workshop in Sydney, Atelier Furniture, Edwin Odermatt is known for his expert cutting, sensitivity to form and ability to accurately recreate demanding vintage silhouettes. Edwin’s work is an integral aspect of the Hotel Hotel interiors.

Read more

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Rhubarb, strawberry and pink peppercorn crumble

Rhubarb, strawberry and pink peppercorn crumble with chamomile ice cream

Serves 8


  • Chamomile ice cream
    500 ml milk
    200 ml cream
    1 cup of chamomile tea leaves
    6 egg yolks
    175g sugar

    Rhubarb and strawberry compote
    500 g Rhubarb (diced)
    60 g honey
    2 tablespoons brown sugar
    Juice and zest of 2 lemons
    2 x 250g punnets strawberries (hulled, rinsed and cut in half)
    250 g sugar
    1 teaspoons sea salt
    2 tablespoons pink peppercorns (crushed)

    200 g butter
    200 g soft brown sugar
    200 g flour
    200 g almond meal
    1 cup rolled oats


Chamomile ice cream

Heat the cream, milk and chamomile in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer, remove from the heat and allow to steep for 1 hour. Strain and discard the chamomile leaves. Whisk the egg yolk and sugar together until pale and then pour over the chamomile infused milk and cream. Return to a saucepan and stir continuously over very low heat until the mixture reaches 87°C. Allow to cool and then churn it in an ice cream making machine according to your ice cream making machine’s specifications.

The crumble

In a stand up mixer, combine the butter and flour and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Add the sugar, almond meal and oats and continue to mix until combined. Set aside.

The rhubarb and strawberry compote

In a medium saucepan, combine the diced rhubarb, honey, sugar, zest and juice and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes until the rhubarb is tender. Add sea salt and set aside. In a separate saucepan combine the hulled and halved strawberries and 250gm sugar and cook over medium heat stirring regularly for about 10 minutes. Combine the cooked rhubarb and strawberry together and add the sea salt.

Assemble and serve

Preheat your oven to 180°C. Pour the rhubarb and strawberry compote into 8 individual oven proof dishes or a large baking dish (about 30cm by 20cm) or whatever you have lying around really… a big Le Creuset frying pan will do the trick. Scatter the crushed pink peppercorns over the fruit and top with the crumble. Bake for about 20 minutes for a large dish or about 10 minutes for individual crumbles. Serve with a scoop of the chamomile ice cream.

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Junk Drawer Number Fifteen

Strange plants

FILED UNDER Junk Drawer POSTED BY Steph ()

This week

What's on in September

Monthly Calendar

Art, Class, Dance, Eat Drink, Film, Live, Market, Music, Party, Talk, Walkabout

The Best of What’s On in September


Eat Local

Eat Local Friday Markets

It's a new farmer's market in the Botanic Gardens. Delicious and ethical food in beautiful location.

WHENEvery Friday at 2.30PM to 7.30PM
WHEREBotanic Gardens
GOEat Local

Eat Drink

Monster Salon & Dining Rooms_Ross_Honeysett_72R4630

Wine and Dinner at Monster

Join six artisan North East Victorian wine producers and the Monster to share in the fun and ritual of delicious food and great wine. It's a five-course shared menu matched to small production wines.

WHENWednesday 30.9 at 7PM to 11PM
GOThe Thursday Table


Old Man's Story

In Conversation: Old Man’s Story

Senator Nova Peris discusses the achievements and mentoring of her great uncle, Big Bill Neidjie with one of his final collaborators photographer Mark Lang, and John Paul Janke.

WHENWednesday 9.9 at 6.30PM
WHERENational Library of Australia
COST$10 including refreshments



ANU and The Canberra Times meet the author: David Marr

David Marr will be in conversation with Laura Tingle on his new quarterly essay on Bill Shorten - Faction Man Bill Shorten's Path to Power.

WHENTuesday 29.9 at 6.30PM
GOMeet the Author



Manufactured Landscapes

Directed by Jennifer Baichwal, Manufactured Landscapes is a documentary following the world and work of renowned artist Edward Burtynsky.

WHEN16.9 at 7PM to 9PM
WHEREGorman Arts Centre


Stamp House

Contemporary Architects Speaker Series

The ACT Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects and the NGA present four lectures by award-winning Australian architects.

WHENWednesday 9.9, 16.9, 23.9 and 30.9
WHERENational Gallery of Australia


good things

Environmental Film Festival Australia

Okay yay. For the first time, the Environmental Film Festival is coming from Melbourne to the Can. Films and talks about environmental issues and the activists fighting the good fight.

WHENFriday 11.9 to Sunday 13.9
WHEREPalace Electric Cinema



Poetry on the Move

It's a Poetry festival! There are readings, talks, interviews, discussions, workshops, masterclasses, book launches and films.

WHENTuesday 1.9 to Friday 11.9
WHEREUniversity of Canberra
GOPoetry Fest



Hustle and Scout: Twilight Fashion Market

Hustle&Scout are hosting a Twilight Fashion market. There will be fashun, street food, bars, tunes and baked goods.

WHENSaturday 12.9 at 2PM to 7PM
WHEREOld Bus Depot Kingston



Bodywork: Australian Jewellery 1970–2010

Bodywork: Australian Jewellery 1970–2010 is a travelling exhibition from the National Gallery of Australia and includes the work of over thirty contemporary Australian jewellers.

WHENFriday 11.9 to Saturday 24.10 Opening Thursday 10.9 at 6PM


Xavier Rudd

Xavier Rudd and the United Nations

Fresh from the US, Europe and Splendour shows Xavier Rudd returns, this time with his new band the United Nations.

WHENSunday 6.9 at 7PM
WHEREUniversity of Canberra Refectory


Ghosts in the Scheme

Set in 1950's Cooma Ghosts in the Scheme explores the friendship of three residents in the backdrop of The Snowy Mountain Scheme which saw an influx of immigrants in that era.

WHENWednesday 2.9 to Saturday 5.9
WHERECanberra Theatre Centre
COST$40 to $55




Floriade showcases one million spring flowers in bloom and nightfest is five nights of after dark flower fun that includes lighting displays, music, comedians, circus acts and night markets.

WHENWednesday 23.9 to Sunday 27.9
WHERECommonwealth Park




Spring has sprung. Floriade is Australia's biggest celebration of spring. It showcases one million flowers in bloom throughout Canberra’s Commonwealth Park.

WHENSaturday 12.9 to Sunday 11.10
WHERECommonwealth Park


Market Scene 1550 by Pieter Aertsen

Farmers Market

Food from farmers and producers in and around Canberra. It gets cold in there - bring your beanie.

WHENEvery Saturday 7.30 to 11.30AM
WHEREExhibition Park


Après Circus

Circus Oz

But Wait … There’s More uses circus to satirise the information overload and consumerism that is the contemporary life style.

WHENWednesday 23.9 to Saturday 26.9
WHERECanberra Theatre Centre
COST$60 to $80


Bee Keeping

Beginner’s Beekeeping Course

Bee a busy bee. This one-day beginner's beekeeping course will cover the principles of small scale, backyard and urban beekeeping.

WHENSunday 20.9 at 9AM to 4PM
WHERECaroola Farm
GOPermaculture eXchange


Professor Germaine Greer 1999 by Polly Borland

Bare: Degrees of Undress

This remix of the National Portrait Gallery’s collection investigates the intriguing parallels and fascinating psychology of the body exposed within the portraits.

WHENFriday 14.8 to Sunday 15.11
WHERENational Portrait Gallery




Poetry Slam. 12 poets, 6 judges. Sign up to be judged or come along and just judge. It's on the third Wednesday of every month.

WHENEvery third Wednesday at 7PM
WHEREThe Phoenix
GOThe Phoenix



Colour Real and Imagined

David Serisier is an illusionist and a contemporary minimalist closely identified with American abstraction.

WHENFrom Friday 14.8 to Sunday 20.9
WHEREANU Drill Hall Gallery
GODrill Hall gallery




Odona does Hatha yoga in the Mosaic room.

WHENSaturdays 8AM to 9.15AM
WHEREMosaic room, Hotel Hotel
COSTFrom $15
GOFlow yoga
View All: What's On
Craig-Scott-East-Coast-Wildflowers 2

Craig and the natives

Robin Boyd begins his book, The Australian Ugliness, by mocking Australians’ ‘uncanny misjudgement in floral arrangements.’ But, as Craig Scott from East Coast Wildflowers points out, when it comes to natives, our tastes and style are developing – we just need to give them time. English flowers have been cultivated for centuries. The cultivation of Australian natives is still a new and experimental field – our knowledge and appreciation needs time to grow.

Each week Craig sends us a mix of flowers, pods, leaves and branches, most grown on his 10-hectare native flower farm in Mangrove Mountain, NSW. Once here, they are arranged with care and the very occasional swear word (because the flower arranging business is not always an easy business) by our Concierge, Louise Black, and Meg Morton from the Monster kitchen and bar.

Craig is a fourth generation flower grower, his daughter fifth generation. His farm used to focus on more traditional varieties (Dahlias and Asters) but he and his father, being outdoor people, had a strong interest in natives. “We’ve always lived in the bush – my father is into rock climbing and I am into hiking and we’ve long admired the range of wildflowers growing in Sydney’s sandstone belt.”

He began foraging – appreciating the richness in colour, and the elegance and boldness of the local species. He says “you can turn over a leaf and you’ve got something completely different on the other side.” For him the designs are intricate but also rugged – a beautiful juxtaposition between the delicate and rough.

About thirty years ago, after a brief flirtation as a motor mechanic, Craig cleared out the old citrus trees and traditional varieties on the farm and began focussing entirely on natives, “it was incredibly exciting, everything you tried was new.”

On his farm you can find 100 metre rows of Flowering Gums, Grevilleas and Banksias. Unlike many of the bigger farms he opts for a variety of crops rather than mass plantings of single species. He’s interested in diversity, which he says has come up remarkably in the last 15 years. There are now more the a dozen varieties of cultivated Banksia, many more beautiful than you would find in the wild.

Responding to a recent resurgence in natives (a good sign we are feeling more at ease with our own lot), Craig is a busy man. He wakes at 11pm and leaves for the Sydney Flower Market. He packs and ships orders between 12pm – 5am. The market opens at 5am and he survives the chaos on adrenalin. It is all over by 8.30am. He returns to the farm to work for a bit – preparing, prepping, weeding and pruning. He naps during the middle of the day and tends to the farm again in the afternoon. He is in bed by 7.30pm. And then the routine starts all over again…

It’s not glamorous work, but it’s a true love. When on hikes in other parts of Australia he says he can’t walk more than five minutes before stopping in awe to appreciate a species that is new to him.

And yes, he is reluctant to harvest something he has been tending to for a long time. For special blooms there needs to be a damn good reason to pick them and he can find almost any excuse not to do it. So yep, we try and stay on the good side of Craig Scott.

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